On Line Since December 24, 1995

Cárdenas, Cuba

View of Cardenas from North Shore

"The Banner City"

("Ciudad Bandera")

Esta pagina en Espanol

Welcome to the Cárdenas, Cuba, Home Page

The Cuban Flag was first raised over Cuban soil in this once picturesque and historic city of straight and narrow streets, horse-drawn carriages, industry and "cangrejos" (blue crabs).

My name is Ernesto J. de la Fé (my friends call me Ernie), and I'm proud to have been born in Cárdenas in 1953. When I was 7 years old, in November of 1960, my mom and dad, along with their five small children, had to leave Cuba and their beloved Cárdenas, fleeing the repressive Communist regime of Fidel Castro.  My parents died without ever having returned.

This Web site is as much a tribute to my parents, grandparents and family as it is to all "Cardenenses" and their ancestors who, over a period of 170 years, built a small village on Cárdenas Bay into a prosperous and progressive city. The city has suffered mercilessly during the Castro years. In recent times it became a virtual slum, neglected and scorned by the regime as a result of "pots and pans demonstrations" carried out on the streets by residents during the early years of "the Revolution". Avenues once teeming with commercial activity and automobiles fell silent, giving the city an erie ghost-town appearance except for the passing of occasional bicycles or horse-drawn carts.

Here you will find photos, images and writings that have come from various books, old publications and post cards as well as from my family and friends. A special thanks goes to my cousin Silvia De Dios, who took some photos of Cárdenas during a visit in 1991, and also to my cousin Lourdes de la Fe, who photographed many parts of the city for me before finally being able to leave Cuba and coming to the U.S. in 1993.

This site will be under construction and continually growing for a long time (kind of like Disney World). I hope you will come by occasionally to check out what's new. It is a fully bilingual site so that all Cardenenses, as well as our Spanish and English-speaking friends, relatives and descendants can enjoy it.

I also hope that this site will provide its visitors with a greater understanding of pre-Castro Cuba by giving them insight into the life and being of the citizens of a Cuban city other than Havana. For reasons that I will never be able to understand, the world at large has been all too willing to accept dictator Fidel Castro's version of Cuban history: that "pre-Revolutionary" Cuba was a despicable place in need of his Communist revolution. Maybe some people will finally realize that the reverse is true.

Photo: Gonzalez-Miró, Real y Princesa Publishers, Post Card made by E.C. Kropp Co. Milwaukee, Wis